12-Year-Old Likely to Escape Life in Prison

Cristian seen with his attorney

The prosecution in the case of Cristian Fernandez has decided not to seek life in prison, something that came as a relief to many across the nation.  In June 2011, the state of Florida charged 12-year-old, Cristian Fernandez, with the first-degree murder of his younger half-brother, David Galarriago.  At that moment, Cristian faced the possibility of becoming the youngest individual in the state’s history to serve a life sentence in prison.

On the afternoon of David’s death, Cristian’s mother, Biannela Susana, left the two children alone in their apartment.  She returned to find David unconscious from a beating administered by Cristian.  Instead of taking David to the hospital, she iced his wounds and began browsing the web.  She searched for information on David and Victoria Beckham, Pippa Middleton, checked her e-mail, accessed her on-line bank account, and researched information on David’s symptoms.   As a result, David died a few hours later.  At the time of his death, David was listed as having suffered from a fractured skull, bleeding in his brain, and bruising to his left eye and nose.

Both Cristian and the mother were arrested; Cristian on charges of first-degree murder, and his mother on manslaughter charges.

Change.org sent an on-line petition asking its recipients to request leniency on Cristian’s behalf.  While Florida prosecutors made the decision to charge Cristian as an adult, their office claims  that they never really wanted to push for a life sentence.  Still, the prosecution is adamant about the fact that Cristian must pay for his crime.  State Attorney Angela Corey was quoted on the Florida Times-Union as saying that “Cristian must still be held accountable.”

Click here for an archive of stories related to Cristian Fernandez.

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